Friday Inspiration 411

This is the last time I’ll mention this in 2023: If you’re in the holiday spirit (or not), and if this newsletter has made your day once or twice this year (or just made your morning), you can support it (and, honestly, my family) on Patreon by clicking here. It takes about 120 seconds to set up, and you’ll get the warm feeling that comes with supporting something that you enjoy and would like to continue to enjoy. You’ll also get access to Patron-exclusive content, like my annual book recommendations, which I’ll be putting together in the next few weeks. (Also: Every time I self-publish a book, every Patreon supporter gets a free ebook copy, and I’m finishing up a new book for this spring sometime) If you’d like a quick explainer video on how Patreon works, I made one here.

And if you’d like one more reason to join my Patreon, here’s one: My friend Don has done it for years now, and he’s a great guy. I’m not saying that it makes Don a great guy, just that there’s a correlation.

I remember watching the video Beau Miles made back in 2021 about how he wanted to plant 1,440 trees in a single day, and how he’d make a follow-up video in two years. But now I can’t believe it’s already been two years. (video)(thanks, Aiden)

screen capture from I Planted A Forest Two Years Ago


I’ve had this page-a-day calendar sitting on my desk since October, waiting for the new year so I can laugh every single day. This is not an affiliate link or anything—I just want to recommend Josh Mecouch’s Comics From Pants Pants 2024 Calendar, which will be useful nine days from today.

Please enjoy these photos of the fruit-shaped bus stops in Nagasaki, Japan, and also maybe wonder, like I do, why your town doesn’t have fruit-shaped bus stops

Perhaps you are not interested in how potato chip flavors get made, or just not interested enough to click on this link to this Guardian story about it. But if you are interested enough to click on it, let me just tell you that it is FASCINATING and that throughout the article you will find yourself saying WHAAAAAT? numerous times. (thanks, Ellie)

I deleted my Twitter account a few months ago, and I don’t really regret it, but I regret losing access to lots of the funny people I followed (I’m not sure if they’ve migrated to Threads yet?). I also lost lots of tweets that I had saved over the years, that no doubt would still make me laugh if I could see them. Which I guess is something that probably will happen a lot as our lives in the digital world get on in years. Hopefully we’ll also get more of this sort of thing, archiving the funniest stuff on a platform—I still haven’t gotten through a third of this, but I’ve laughed out loud dozens of times. (Thanks, Anthony)

Speaking of Threads: If you are on Threads, and you are looking for funny people to follow, I recommend Reuven Perlman.

I will be teaching another writing workshop with the Freeflow Institute in 2024 (we’re finalizing dates + location soon), and if you want a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to use toward the tuition on my workshop (or any other Freeflow workshop), all you have to do is donate $10 or more to the Freeflow Community Scholarship Fund before Dec. 31. That’s the big prize, but there are some other great giveaway items, like signed first editions of David James Duncan’s books.